Luthier: Luigi Locatto
Although Luigi Locatto has been making guitars for over a quarter of a century, his involvement with the instrument goes much deeper than lutherie, as he is also a guitarist and teacher himself. He considers himself and his work to be completely traditional, basing his work on the work of the golden age of the greatest Spanish masters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His purpose is to recreate the beautiful palette of sound colors and the intense expression of these Spanish instruments without compromising the power required of a modern guitar.
In addition to playing, teaching and building, Locatto has been very active as a repairman, and has done major restoration jobs on several important vintage instruments – including the likes of Louis Panormo, Francisco Simplicio, Enrique Garcia, Manuel Ramirez and others. These projects have helped Locatto better understand something of these great masters and and in many cases he has been commissioned to build replicas – in addition to the guitars just mentioned, he has also made copies of Antonio de Torres, Rene Lacote, Ignacio Fleta, and Hermann Hauser. His own model (which he calls his “Garcia model”) was born from this practice. Although not a strict copy, it is largely influenced by a specific guitar – an Enrique Garcia from 1904.
His instruments have won the attraction of many professional guitarists who in some cases have made beautiful recordings on Locatto guitars, including Lorenzo Micheli (winner of GFA 1999), who recorded Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s works for Naxos, and Shin-ichi Fukuda, who recorded Barrios and Villa-Lobos for Meister Music.
Locatto’s desire to improve in all areas is never-ending, always doing additional research where possible. As a result of this necessarily slow and careful pace of work, his current production is limited to between 10-12 instruments per year. As his exclusive US dealer, GSI is very proud to receive 2-3 of these.
Orfeo Magazine has published a feature article in their latest issue for Autumn 2015, taking a look into the workshops and at the work of master luthiers Andrea Tacchi, Luigi Locatto, and Lorenzo Frignani. Featuring interviews with the luthiers themselves, as well as highlighting some of the unique approaches these luthiers take when building their instruments, this issue is loaded with tons of great information for anybody interested in the art and craft of luthierie, as well as classical guitar in general. This issue also has some splendid photography, some nice shots of the luthiers and their workshops accompany the articles to give the reader a well rounded image of how and why these craftsmen do what they do. Click here to see the full issue of Orfeo. Also, check out some of the guitars we’ve had here at GSI as the exclusive retailers for these fine luthiers in the United States. You can see all of the guitars we’ve had from the workshops of Tacchi, Locatto, and Frignani in our store and in our museum archive.